I just read a Los Angeles Times report about the hearing that caused a GOP member of the Maryland House of Delegates to change his mind about a legislative proposal to redefine marriage in the State. Wade Kach cast a vote that “might have proved decisive in its final passage through the State’s General Assembly….” The report cites Kach’s explanation: “I saw with so many of the gay couples, they were so devoted to [one] another. I saw so much love,” quotes the report. “When this hearing was over I was a changed person in regard to this issue. I felt that I understood what same sex couples were looking for.”
Kach’s putative explanation illustrates the dangers of electing politicians who take the right position on an issue, but for the wrong reason. Judging by his explanation, Kach opposed homosexual marriage because he believed that same-sex couples feel no love toward one another. Confronted by evidence that challenged this belief, he had a change of heart. Or so we are supposed to believe.
There is, of course, the possibility that Kach took his original position in a calculated effort to consolidate support from the moral conservatives in his GOP constituency. Perhaps the supposed effect of the affectionate homosexual couples he saw is merely an convenient excuse for finally recanting a position that did not reflect his true convictions. After all, the witnesses he saw were chosen as part of a carefully contrived campaign to win passage of the bill in question. If he was serious about representing the voters who elected him, a thoughtful person would look for proof that these witnesses accurately reflected the norm for homosexual couples; and that they weren’t handpicked to be exceptionally appealing to legislators who would otherwise be put off by the truth.
Such a dutiful representative would also think about the full implications of the reason for his supposed change of heart. Those living in what are now call plural relationships (where one party has several “wives” or “husbands”); or incestuous relationships; or inter-species relationships; or adult-child relationships, may also display genuine feelings of love toward one another. Would Kach vote for legislation that extended the state’s definition of marriage to include such couples?
Beyond such punch line rhetoric, however, the legalization of homosexual marriage involves issues that upset the very foundations of Constitutional government in the United States, the republican form of government Kach and all officials like him are sworn to uphold. In this respect the proponents of homosexual marriage are more serious about their responsibilities than he is. They do not demand the legalization of homosexual marriage as a matter of sentiment. They demand it as a matter of constitutional equality and right. Along these lines, in an interview I wrote about on this blog in 2010, former First Lady Laura Bush (Republican past President G. W. Bush’s singular spouse) offered the more serious rationale for Kach’s betrayal of his electoral supporters on this issue:
The former first lady said on “Larry King Live” Tuesday she “totally” understands “what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman. . . . But I also know that, you know when couples are committed to each other and love each other that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has.” “You think [legalization of same sex marriage] is coming?” King asked.
Citing a “generational” shift in opinion on the issue, she replied, “Yeah, that will come, I think.”
I wonder if Kach has ever considered the cogent reasoning that refutes Laura Bush’s specious assertion that homosexuals should have an “equal right” to marry, reasoning I sought carefully to follow in the above referenced blog post. Even given the benefit of the doubt as to the sincerity of his convictions, Kach’s reversal on the issue points to a serious deficiency in his understand of the reasoning that supports the position he chose to abandon. Thanks to this deficiency, the voters who supported him because he claimed to be a defender of God endowed marriage lost a critical legislative vote. More than that, his explanation for the flip-flop lends credibility to the charge that the position he took on their behalf was the result of bigoted ignorance, ignorance that will be remedied once people like them are re-educated by exposure to public displays of homosexual affection, such as led Kach to change his vote.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find some advocates of homosexual marriage citing his change of heart as proof that what America really needs is a Federal program that promotes public attendance at so-called “gay pride parades”. This would allow more people of all ages to see the public displays of affection that sapped the strength of Kach’s support for God endowed marriage. Given the aspects of “homosexual love” which he chose not to investigate however, not a few of the displays commonly seen at such parades would prove that he should have looked into things more carefully before he abandoned his duty to his constituents and the republican principles he is sworn to uphold.